S P O T L I G H T O N
“You have everything you need to be successful in your eyes”
Kevin Oswald and I met a few months ago at a multi-author Barnes and Noble Book Signing in Erie, PA. Although we sat at opposite sides of the room, I greeted the other authors beforehand. Through our conversation, I learned he suffered from a condition known as Retinitis, which is slightly different from Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), which I suffer from. However, we both had received training from the Cleveland Sight Center.
Because it’s unusual to meet anyone else with RP and to have that person be an author besides, I found him inspiring and asked if I could interview him.
About Kevin Oswald
Amy Bovaird: Can you tell my readers a little bit about your background?
Kevin Oswald: I was born and raised in Sandusky, Ohio. I am a writer, poet and traveler who currently resides in Medina (pronounced Me DIE na), OH.
Choosing a Career
AB: How did you become interested in becoming an author and what kinds of books do you write?
KO: I’ve written on and off my whole life. I write poetry books.
The Challenges of Vision loss
AB: You also suffer from vision loss. Can you share a little about how the challenges affect you?
KO: I was born with a hereditary disease called Retinitis. I have scarring behind my retina. I lost a substantial amount of sight in April 2005, leaving me legally blind. My challenge is visual depth perception.
AB: What have kind of training, if any, have you taken to retain your independence?
KO: I’ve had low vision training, magnification and CCTV us
Impact of Vision Loss on Career
AB: How does vision loss impact your writing?
KO: I’ve had to use a magnifier to read and write; I also, use tactile and memory to aid my understanding of what’s there.
First Book written by Kevin Oswald
AB: When we met, you were selling your first book. Please share a little bit about it and what motivated you to write it. Who are your readers?
KO: My first book is a poetry book called, “Bare Bones: A Collection of Poems (1989-2016)” by Indigokro. Fiction, non-fiction, spiritual, romantic, personal, mystery and abstract are all themes.
This book came about by throwing poems and writings that were written over the years into a brown box; and they were put together as a collection 25 years later. My ideal readers are any adults over 18 years of age.
AB: What is a typical day like for you?
KO: It starts out with a great cup of coffee. Then I spend most of the morning in my pumpkin patch. In the afternoon, I spend marketing my book, reading and writing; then I go for long walks.
The Second Book
AB: When we talked, you mentioned you were working on a second book. What will this one be about?
KO: The second book will be completely different from the first book. That was a collection of ideas, experiences, fiction and non-fiction over 27 years. The second book is the result of transcending those 27 years with experience of learning.
Personal Reading Tastes
AB: What kind of books do you read yourself?
KO: Poetry and multi-dimensional, transcendent books. I, also, enjoy biographies of music artists, of writers and about certain periods of American history.
Advice to Others Newly Diagnosed with Vision Loss
AB: What have you learned from your own vision loss journey that others just starting out diagnosed with RP?
KO: I’d say to find support with eye centers, groups of people, and to learn to be calm and have courage. Share your feelings with only those who care. What you experience in the beginning is not permanent. As you go through the change, you’ll become a better person. Don’t let what happened to your eyes discourage you from fulfilling your life. For you have everything you need within you for a successful journey in your own eyes.
Thank you, Kevin. I really enjoyed getting to know more about you through this interview. Readers, this is your opportunity to ask Kevin more questions, so don’t be shy! Leave a comment at the end of this post!
When was the last time you met someone with similar challenges and interests out of the blue?